This deal will no doubt be overshadowed by the Zack Greinke trade earlier tonight, but it's still worth noting. The Rockies have traded jack of all trades infielder Marco Scutaro to the Giants (along with a pile of cash) in exchange for second baseman Charlie Culberson. The news was first confirmed by Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
Scutaro has a .685 OPS this year for the Rockies, who acquired him this winter from the Red Sox for reliever Clayton Mortensen. Over his career, Scutaro has played second, short, and third, with most of his time coming at shortstop. That will work well for the Giants, who have gotten close to nothing offensively from Brandon Crawford at short this year. By the same token, they've also gotten nothing from Ryan Theriot at second, so Scutaro can play at either position and represent a modest upgrade for the team. But for now, Ken Rosenthal reports that Scutaro will play third for the Giants, with Pablo Sandoval possibly hitting the DL.
In Culberson, the Giants give up their 11th ranked prospect coming into the year, a first round supplemental pick back in 2007. The 23-year old Culbertson was having an awful year this season, spending it mostly with AAA Fresno, where he had a .677 OPS in 90 games, homering ten times. This wasn't much of a departure from Culberson's 2011 season in AA Richmond, where he OPSed .679 with ten homers (again).
The Giants pick up maybe half a win over the season's final two months with this trade, if even that. The Rockies dump a guy who wasn't in their long-term plans and wasn't of much use to them this year after Troy Tulowitzki got hurt and any hopes of a playoff run disintegrated. And hey, they get a guy who might be able to hit a tad bit in the thin Denver air. At 23, Culberson is still very young, and it's too early to call him a complete bust, but he's heading that way.
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